Billy Hamilton leaves game after injuring hand on diving catch

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UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com passes along word that Hamilton sprained the third and fourth knuckles of his left (glove) hand on the catch. No word on how much time he’ll need to miss.

7:41 p.m. ET: Billy Hamilton left tonight’s game against the Brewers in the first inning after he suffered an apparent injury when he robbed Carlos Gomez of extra bases on a diving catch. You can watch the excellent play here.

Hamilton managed to finish the top half of the inning, but was replaced by pinch-hitter Chris Heisey when the Reds came up to bat in the bottom of the first. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but we’ll pass along an update when it’s available.

Hamilton started the season very slow, going hitless over his last five games, but he entered play tonight hitting .280/.310/.378 with five extra-base hits, six RBI, and 11 stolen bases over his last 21 games. Here’s hoping it’s something minor. Hamilton is a lot of fun to watch. And as we saw tonight, it’s not just because of what he does on the bases.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: